Friday, March 5, 2010

Don't be a Chicken


Have you ever been at the gym and seen those men that spend all of their time working on their pecs? If you've spent any time in a gym, I'm sure you've witnessed it. These are the guys that are always on the bench press, pushing up more weight than seems humanly possible.

Take another look, notice anything odd? If you look, a lot of these guys look big and tough on top, but they're walking around on tiny little chicken legs!

These guys are missing the point here. Working just one or two muscle groups is going to not only make you look awkward (think big top, chicken bottom), but it can eventually lead to more serious issues such as skeletal imbalances and injuries.

Building a strong, healthy body takes work, obviously. Working on each component of fitness will ensure you're well rounded, that you're heart and lungs are healthy, your skeletal system is protected and your muscles are strong and flexible. Today we're going to take a deeper look into muscular fitness, specifically talking about major muscle groups.

When you're starting on a muscular fitness program, the first step is to become familiar with what the major muscle groups are. This will help determine what exercises to do when you're working out.

When you work on muscular strength & endurance (both are part of muscular fitness), it's very important to spend fairly equal time working on these muscle groups through resistance training. Dumbbells, resistance machines (at the gym or a home gym), resistance bands/tubes and your own body weight are all great choices for resistance training.

I've listed each group below, in the general terms. Remember each major muscle group is made up of more than one individual muscles.:

Upper Body:
Chest (or pecs)
Back
Shoulders (or deltoids)
Biceps
Triceps
Abdominals

Lower Body:
Quadriceps
Hamstrings
Glutes
Calves

One thing to note: If you're working all major muscles in one workout, you want to work largest to smallest muscle groups, upper and lower.

If you're new to this, is can be a little bit scary -- but don't let those big guys in the gym intimidate you! Just think, if you follow what I've given you here, you'll be more well-rounded than them! You'll have a 'leg up' on them, so to speak...

So, if you want to be strong, have lower body fat and have less aches & pains, work those muscles!

Look for our upcoming posts with ideas for exercises in each muscle group!

Let us know what you think about this blog! Did you find it helpful? Any questions? Post a comment, I'd love to hear from you!